“U.S. stock futures fell, indicating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will drop for a fifth day, amid concern talks between President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers may not yield a budget deal by the year-end deadline,” Tom Stoukas reports for Bloomberg.

“Obama summoned Republican and Democratic leaders to a White House meeting three days before a year-end deadline to avoid $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases, amid increasing concern that the time is too short to reach a deal,” Stoukas reports. “The president, who had been negotiating one-on-one with House Speaker John Boehner, will meet today with Republicans Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, both Democrats. The meeting will be held at 3 p.m. Washington time.”

Stoukas reports, “The S&P 500 pared losses to 0.1 percent yesterday as the House of Representatives planned a session on Dec. 30. The gauge has rallied 13 percent this year, its largest annual gain since 2009.”

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CNBC reports, “Investors will also keep an eye on economic data for clues on the health of the economy. November pending home sales numbers are due at 10 a.m. and crude inventory data is out at 11 a.m.”

“Apple is among stocks in focus after a Chinese court fined the iPhone maker $160,000 for hosting third-party applications on its App Store that were selling pirated electronic books, Xinhua news agency said,” CNBC reports.

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MacDailyNews Take: Any investor who’s focusing on AAPL for that reason needs to get their eyes checked.